Lakewood Church: Joel Osteen's Megachurch - Everything You Need to Know
Gunman killed by police at Houston's Lakewood Church, two others wounded. Joel Osteen leads the megachurch. Active situation, God in control.
A woman, described by police as a gunman, was shot and killed by police on Sunday afternoon at Lakewood Church in Houston. Two other people, including a 5-year-old child, were shot and wounded at the church.
Lakewood Church is Houston's largest church and is famously led by megachurch pastor Joel Osteen. The church is located at 3700 Southwest Freeway in southwest downtown Houston. It is a nondenominational, evangelical Christian church that has an estimated 45,000 people attending services every week. The building has a capacity of about 16,800 people, and it is the home church of pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen.
Joel Osteen, 60, and his wife, Victoria, 62, lead Lakewood Church. Osteen has been the church's senior pastor since 1999 and preaches the prosperity theology, which suggests that people can find wealth through their devotion to God. The church is known for its wealth, and Osteen recently announced that the church had paid off a $100 million loan it had taken out for renovation.
Lakewood Church offers in-person and online services on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well as online services at 7 p.m. Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and 7 p.m. Saturdays.
On Sunday, authorities were called to the church about a possible shooting inside the building. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said a woman in her 30s, who was armed with a long gun and wearing a trench coat, entered the church accompanied by a child and began firing at people. She was shot and killed by police officers who were working security at the building. A 5-year-old child was shot and was in critical condition, and a 57-year-old man was shot in the hip and was in stable condition.
The building was evacuated, and police were working to reunite families who were separated during the response. Lakewood Church allowed people to carry concealed handguns inside its properties but prohibited open carry as of 2018.